What Is a Personal Identification Number (PIN)?

Entering PIN
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A personal identification number (PIN) is a security code for verifying your identity. Similar to a password, your PIN should be kept secret because it allows access to important services such as financial transactions. PINs may be used for anything digital and requiring access. This can include communication devices, car locks, home locks, and much more.

PIN Security

Because PINs protect much of your information and resources, it’s wise to use a PIN that is difficult to guess.

Longer PINs work well because it takes more attempts to guess them. Most security systems lock your account after a set number of attempts. This ensures it is harder for thieves and computer programs to successfully guess your PIN.

Because the PIN authorizes you to access sensitive information, it's fundamental to keep the number secret.

Getting and Changing a Bank PIN

If you don’t know your bank card PIN, you might need to request one from your financial institution. In some cases, you do not get to choose your initial PIN; your service provider mails a PIN to you separately from any card, in case your card gets stolen from the mail.

You typically have the option to change your PIN, and you might be required to do so. However, some banks allow you to choose your PIN yourself as your card is printed.

When you lose or forget your PIN, you’ll need to reset it. That may require waiting on an email or a mailed document, making a visit to your bank, or calling your security manager.